Mad Dogs and Englishmen

3 Stars
 E3 5c

Adjacent Routes
<< A Touch of Class < Spazz Energy  |  Machineries of Joy > Within Reach >>

A fine and devious route which is one of the best of its grade in the Peak. Very sustained, though with a harder move to reach the roof. Climb a flake to a peg. Step across left to another flake then pull up with difficulty (peg above) to below the roof. Pull over to gain a bucket then tiptoe right across the slab. Climb direct to the top and a dirty exit.
FFA. Gabriel Reagan, Al Evans 1976. FA. Brian Moore, Jim Ballard 1969.


For authentic route experience climb at the hottest part of a searingly hot day having forgotten your water bottle.
Al Evans - 25/Sep/00

"all the moves are about 5c" is a jolly useful description. "Good rests" are less certain, there is not much comfort to be found between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cruxes. Some pretty mad moves required and the gear is quite a fiddle too - challenging but satisfying.
Fiend - 22/Aug/03

Littered with insitu wires and pegs adorned with very visible purple rope.Tell me if I'm wrong but is this what trad limestone is all about?
I have a new project going straight through the overhang above the traverse. I'm one move away from completing it and it should make a good 7C. Mike P.
Mike and Fra P - 18/Aug/04

Well, it is one of the best E3 trads route in the peak and its a shame its been compromised by this project. You can clip 3 of the bolts (1, 2, and 5) from Mad Dogs. There is plenty of rock to make indifferent 7C's out of down there, there's not so many 3* E3's in the Peak. A Fairer solution would be for the project to start up MD on trad gear, then break out on the new line, thus leaving the origional route unchanged, if it has to be there at all. Better still the bolts should go, and a Peak classic that is still very regulary climbed left well alone.

Was discussed here - didn't seem to be much support for the bolts...
ChrisC - 18/Aug/04

In support of my project that would appear to be causing some concern down in Cheedale. Firstly,the only place that you could conceivably clip one of my bolts is on the traverse.You would have to climb up to clip it.
That would mean that you would be going "off line" to clip.Do trad climbers do such things?
I did not put a bolt lower down as I felt it would be more exciting clipping an old "jammed" wire.Anyway,I would'nt have put a bolt on that route anyway!
What I can't understand is why clip a bolt anyway if you're on a trad route.If you climb there you should know that there are both sport and trad climbs on the same crag.Are we being dictated to how we should climb in Britain.Surely, if you clip a bolt you personally lose out.
Lets end this conflict between trad and sport.Does it really matter.Do we not just go out to enjoy climbing.I know I do.
As regards my "indifferent" 7C,It's not finished yet but it will be good.I and only I should know that if we respect project rules.Can we not judge it when it is finished.
Please,lets just enjoy our climbing.
Regards Mike P.
Mike and Fra P - 29/Aug/04

I respect your comments and agree with a lot of what you say. However, your ideas about bolts that can be clipped on trad routes do not add up. The whole point of a trad route is to climb without bolts. So if there is one to clip and you are in 'extremis', you always have the option to clip it and escape in safety if you have to to get out of danger. This takes away from the experience of trad climbing where the aim is to put yourself in a position of having to rely only upon your wires/ friends and climbing prowess. The fact that you might overextend yourself and 'run it out' with no way of putting in gear would spoil the experience with the mere fact of a bolt being available, even if you don't clip it. Think about it and try to respect British trad climbing heritage before you bolt.
ted - 29/Aug/04

mad dogs is one of the best trad routes in the peak if not the country. Now unless this new sport route is of a similar calibre, then i suggest its not worth tarnishing a superb trad route for, even if you are desperate to get your name in print. Is this "just another 7c" sport route worth comprimising this route?
Dave - 31/Aug/04

Mike, like ted I agree with most of what you say. The 'just don't clip it then' argument is flawed though, and has been discussed too many times already...

When I led the route earlier this year, I was paying attention to the bolt placements, and I can assure you that 1, 2 and 5 were easilly clippable without going off line, simply by reaching out left for 1 from the initital crack, clipping halfway along the traverse (at the rest) by your feet for the 2nd. I nearlly chopped them then, but then found out it was your project and I thought I'd speak to you about it first - simply havn't seen you since then...

You ask, 'are we being dictated to how we should climb in Britain?' - well I think the answer is yes. There would be outrage if somene were to come along and bolt up projects on the Chee Tor changing the character of surrounding routes. In fact I think there is a 'no more bolting rule' there already. Just because there is already signifigant bolt development on Two Tier doesn't mean that the whole crag is up for grabs (though nearlly...). Think about the impact on other routes, especially ones as good as Mad Dogs.

My previous comments weren't about a conflict between trad and sport, I enjoy them both equally, and fully appreciate the work you have done helping to create the wonderful resource that we now have down there. I just think we need to preserve the handful of high quality trad routes that we have.
ChrisC - 31/Aug/04

Another view from someone who found MD and E really satisfying.... I echo what Dave says - doesn't the Peak limestone have enough limestone F7cs already?? Enough perhaps to leave a rarer and very characterful classic alone...
Fiend - 09/Sep/04

Seems that I have incurred the wrath of the trad climbing world.All I wanted to do was do what I thought climbers were meant to do.I saw a line of unclimbed rock and decided to put a project on it.I climb up to about 7c+ at present therefore it is a project to me.Tell me if I'm wrong but is that not what you do.The bolts were put in as carefully (believe me or not) to not affect Mad dogs.I even utilised the jammed wire at the top of the 2nd. groove.
I have as much right to put a project up on these walls as any other climber.Maybe I am just a "few" but I do have a say.Maybe I have misunderstood the word "democracy"!
This line is important to me and when this "debate" dies down people will get back to climbing these routes as before without thinking anything else.
You mention how great a climb it is to be ruined by an indifferent 7c.That is being a bit elitist don't you think!
All these other "great" classic trad routes that are going back to nature along the length of Chee dale and Water come Jolly are not being "mourned"
How about instead of commenting on my project you all go out and "clean" a few of those lines up so that they can be re-enjoyed.
A few comments on the great Mad dogs to maybe explain something I can't understand.Jammed wires!Why can't these be removed.Surely they detract from the "trad" ethic of going into the unknown.Also when is a peg not a peg? When it has a big piece of purple rope attached to it to enable it to be clipped "safely".Surely if the rock dictates where the peg should go then it should be left to be a struggle to clip.Otherwise it becomes a bolt in essence!
How about someone -could be you Alan- abbing down one wet and windy day and removing all these bits of "fixed"gear!!
My project will be finished as soon as the weather permits me to climb it then it can be judged.Remove the bolts and I will replace them!!
It will be a good new sport climb for the dale for the sport climbers who love going there as I do.
I don't expect for one minute that you will record it but you are not "god" and the route will always be there.
Mike P.
Mike P - 09/Sep/04

And they will be removed, and replaced until someone gets bored. It certainly wont be the removers who get bored. The bolts WILL not stay
Local - 09/Sep/04

"Climbing is art, sport, lifestyle and combat.
Above all, it is the effort and achievement of the individual.
No committee, country or chat room gets you to the top of a route.
It’s all about you… and your friends… and your vision."
Poles Apart - 13/Sep/04

A really good route that I enjoyed many years ago without any bolts nearby and that is the way it should stay! There are loads of sports routes down the dales and very few classic trad routes like this and I think we should keep the bolts away!
dave - 16/May/05

Registering new route"THE MYSTS OF CHEE".This is the line of bolts to the left of Mad Dogs.This route climbs the delicate wall to reach the left hand flake.Go up this to join Mad Dogs at the in-situ wire.Step right on undercuts then ascend the overhang direct to reach a further flake.Step left on the lip then move up to join Mad Dogs at the niche.Step right and climb up to a two bo;t belay.6 bolts+in-situ wire.Grade 7C+ mike przygrodzki 13/7/09
mike przygrodzki - 14/Jul/09

The peg on this route is unsafe and needs replacing.mike p
mike przygrodzki - 14/Jul/09

Good effort in getting your project done mike. I climbed mad dogs yesterday and you can clip two of the lower bolts on 'the mysts of chee' from mad dogs. Would it not be better therefore if your route started up mad dogs and Englishmen? That way the two bolts at the beginning could be removed as to not interfere with mad dogs. Would starting up mad dogs adversely effect the quality and difficulty of 'the mysts of chee'?
Duncan b - 26/Jul/09

Did Mad Dogs yesterday - a totally brilliant adventure, didn't clip or see any bolts, but I hadn't read this first and wasn't looking.

One thing I will say, the top out (side out?) is totally hideous at the mo. Recommend scrambling up the gulley to the right and pre-gardening the finish before you get on it.
Jon Leighton - 05/May/10

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